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, the coalition forces stepping back through a support role. on tuesday, president obama announced during his state of the union address plans for drawing down half of the 66,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan this year, a 34,000 troop reduction by february of 2014. the president continues to consider options for a significantly reduced u.s. military presence in afghanistan after the end of 2014, which will depend on many things but in part on negotiations with the government of afghanistan over legal protections for our troops. the president has made clear that then missions of residual u.s. presence in afghanistan after 2014 will be limited to current terrorism operations and training and advising afghan forces. general austin would bring exceptional experience in overseeing this transition, having commanded u.s. forces in iraq during the reduction of u.s. forces and equipment from iraq. just this past weekend our forces in afghanistan have had a change of command, with general joseph duckworth replacing general john allen as commander of the international securities systems forces and commande
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